Getting Elementary Education Jobs: Step-by-Step to Teaching Success

The Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Teaching Careers

Becoming a teacher means pursuing elementary teacher jobs that vary widely in duties and responsibilities. An aspiring teacher (you!) has a lot of options available for a fulfilling career as a professional educator.

The nation is training twice as many K-5 elementary school teachers as needed each year...

"...the market is 'flooded with elementary teachers' because universities and colleges don't make the effort to match supply and demand..."

- USA Today

You need every advantage you can get! Read on for my best tips and insights.

Nothing beats real-life experience

Becoming a teacher - resume and application

Before you even get started down the path of becoming an elementary teacher, it is ideal if you can get some real-world experience. Nearly every school system is open to volunteers in a variety of roles, from reading with kids to after-school programs.

You may have to pass a background screening, or you may have to volunteer through a separate, non-school service organization, but if you want some hands-on experience with teaching careers - and the opportunity to ask current teachers questions - you can get it with just a little effort.

There are plenty of people in this world who are not crazy about their jobs. You know that you want to work with kids, but there are so many ways to do that - even within the education establishment.

Take some time up front to confirm what role you want to play in the lives of children before becoming an educator.

Your teaching career awaits!

Degree and teaching certificate in hand? Great! If you've come this far, there are schools and students who need you. Actually becoming an elementary teacher is the next step.

Again, according to supply and demand, this step may be more or less challenging. Regardless, you'll want to brush up your teacher cover letter, study some teacher resume templates and practice answering teacher interview questions (including over 100 sample questions) for your interview to be fully prepared.

This website will help you with that...I've got lots of examples and templates for you to use to make the process a snap!

Basic equation for becoming a teacher: Success = Motivation + Knowledge.

Advanced equation: Rapid Success = (Motivation + Knowledge) x Lessons From Experience

You provide the first part and I'll do my best to give you the second part...without your having to repeat everything I did wrong!


Finding Your Education Niche

Within any school system, whether public or private, you will find a wide variety of elementary teacher jobs. Consider the appeal of these jobs as you plan your elementary education course requirements and your future teaching careers; some jobs will require specific endorsements or other teacher certification.

Teacher Job Categories

Aside from the traditional "teach everything" classroom teacher, teacher jobs include the following specialists:

  • Special Education teachers work with kids who need extra attention to catch up to grade level, children with special needs, developmental or behavioral challenges, etc. This is a very broad category.
  • Reading Recovery / Remediation teachers provide one-on-one or small-group instruction for students who are having difficulty reading at their grade level.

They often work in grades one, two or three - critical years for becoming a successful reader. This job often requires extra training and a reading endorsement in addition to a teaching certificate.

  • Math Recovery / Remediation teachers also provide focused instruction for individual students or small groups. Math remediation, however, is important for all elementary grade levels and may also require a math endorsement.
TIP: Different school districts may have different names for their specialists.

teacher-resume-cover-letter-coverOf course, don't forget the option of substitute teaching. It can be a great way to get your foot in the door for your first full-time teacher job. Some states don't require full teacher certification to substitute teach - subject-matter expertise is enough to fill this role.

Another interesting specialty that is sometimes available is a job working with kids who cannot attend regular classroom instruction due to health issues. Some teachers, often called Classroom Coordinators, work full time in hospitals helping to keep kids caught up with their schoolwork during their recovery from illness or injury.

Non-Teacher Jobs

For the sake of completeness, you should be aware of other professionals employed by many (often larger) school districts. If you want to work around children, but your interests lie outside the traditional classroom, you may be able to find employment in one of these areas:

  • School Counselors support students and families for school success. They coordinate support for students with personal challenges at home, working with non-school agencies such as Child Protective Services or other government programs.
  • Occupational Therapists provide gross- and fine-motor skills training for kids with disabilities. Important fine-motor skills such as writing can be improved with proper instruction and utensils, or accommodations for physical disabilities can be assessed and implemented.
  • Speech Therapists assist students with pronunciation problems that may be caused by birth defects or developmental issues.
  • Vision and Hearing Specialists provide testing and facilitate the acquisition and implementation of visual and hearing aids that can allow students to understand classroom instruction. Aside from eyeglasses and hearing aids, they may provide assistance with screen readers or classroom voice-amplification systems.
  • elementary-teacher-jobs-pre-school-students
    Ready to learn...they just need a teacher!

No matter your area of interest, there are elementary teacher jobs - actually teacher careers - that will allow you to share your skills with children.

Substitute Teaching Helps You Practice for Success


Your Gateway to Full-Time Teaching Careers The road to a full-time job often passes through the substitute teaching phase, so this section provides plenty of advise for success in this critical role. Subbing may be a career choice for those people who want more flexibility their job, or … [Read more...]

Teacher Job Interview Portfolios

Be ready to "show what you know"

Ideas for Making a Great Impression Free download for new teachers...scroll down! A teacher interview portfolio is not often required; however if one is requested or expected, then you must be certain that you are ready to produce exactly what the interview committee … [Read more...]

A Successful Subbing Day


What will you find when you fill in for the classroom teacher?

Well, when it comes to substitute teaching and what to do with the kids...pretty much all or nothing or something in between. (Real helpful, huh?) When they know sub teaching is in the cards, some classroom teachers will … [Read more...]